en es fr it
Home arrow The World of Oil arrow Traditional and International Cuisine


by LUIGI SFORZELLINI, Executive Controller Food Chef - Technical Consultant for Linea della Ristorazione - Technical Lecturer on Healthy Gastronomy - Master of Cookery Associazione Professionale Cuochi Italiani - National Advisor Associazione Professionale Cuochi Italiani - External Lecturer Accademia D'Impresa di Trento

In technical culinary language it is known as "Perfumed Gold" because it is rich in precious elements, fragrances and healthy components. To speak of extra virgin olive oil means to speak of a food/seasoning that has recently become a vital complement to Italian and international gastronomies.

Recently, it has been gaining ground in the international catering industry, where it is still known only to a limited extent as a complement in preparing various dishes.

The primary goal of this formula is to identify and certify the Mediterranean origins of certain platters branding them Italian because it is trendy and commercially convenient.

In presenting Italian cuisine abroad but it should be taken more into account and play a more important role in preparing the various dishes, becoming a real "main culinary character" instead of a mere seasoning.

Extra virgin olive oil has all the characteristics needed to be a perfect, harmonious product, and can be used creatively in many culinary forms.

It is a noble "vegetable juice". The unique way in which it is prepared and its elements mean that, when used in preparing dishes, it prevails over other commonly used food fats.

The fact that it dissolves and blends well in cold sauces is well known. It harmoniously and firmly gives body to pestos and creams of various kinds. Its simple and adaptable nature make it good for achieving a creamy, rich consistency in dishes.

Its broad rich fragrance lends itself well to various ingredients when added uncooked. It has always been one of the most characteristic identifying elements in the traditional cuisine of Mediterranean countries, enhancing its flair.

Its refined vegetable essence gives a hint of lightness to the palate, and its flavour varies and is classifiable according to the area of production, lending different notes of sensory pleasantness.

Identifiable by mild or strong grassy hints, which are accompanied by nutritional and healthy properties.

It is considered the favourite "character" in preparing and seasoning uncooked dishes such as various kinds of salads, where it can be used to create elegant cold sauces and seasonings that blend different ingredients into unique gastronomic harmonies, making for excellent combinations.

In marinades, it is used to lend a subtle and harmonious flavour that mixes easily with the numerous aromatic ingredients, giving a particularly pleasant flavour to the finished dishes.

It creates textures and a symbiosis between the ingredients when preparing pestos and cream of vegetable soups, improving their texture and flavour, proving itself to be an essential element.

When used to cook sauces it adds flavourful notes to dishes by lending them sensory harmony.

It is masterfully used in preparing bases for soups, where it adds a hint of firm flavour that shines through in the finished dish by improving it and enriching it.

In all practical situations where extra virgin olive oil finds synergies for its usage, it is best employed when also added uncooked onto the finished dish.

By using it, the unpleasant flavour given by other fatty ingredients can be avoided.

It creates a broad and enveloping harmony of combinations between the various ingredients, and a richness of flavour which is expressive and firm.

It can be used to prepare excellent fried dishes, thanks to properties that make it resistant to the various thermal stresses.

Extra virgin olive oil is quickly gaining ground over many other food fats, but is also becoming a main ingredient in many different dishes, amongst which are traditional and international pastry-making, with excellent results. Extra virgin olive oil gives the finished dish a light and crumbly texture. But it has particular merit as a combining ingredient, as proven by the vast and varied number of dishes offered in traditional regional Italian cuisine.

The gourmet ice-cream making field has not remained indifferent to its gastronomic potentials. By adding extra virgin olive oil, they have created a provocative and daring range of products, with excellent results in sweet as in salty ice-creams.

A new field for demanding palates is the usage of extra virgin olive oil in making high quality artisanal chocolates. Blending it with cocoa, it creates unique salty gastronomic unions where the richness of the ingredients is combined with extra virgin olive oil to obtain salty and sweet-sour sauces, creams and emulsions, which can offset the various ingredients used in traditional and international cuisine.

When using it in making chocolate pastries, ice-creams and pralines, it is important to pay special attention to the specific kind of extra virgin olive oil employed, by evaluating its flavour and aftertaste, choosing extra virgin oils that have delicate hints and mild aromas.

Currently, in international cuisine, other food fats are still the most popular choice for preparing these dishes.

This is due to the fact that said food fats are still tied to the various lands and their gastronomic culture, which has survived thanks to folk traditions and historic-cultural factors.

Throughout certain European countries as well as overseas, it is quite common to find extra virgin olive oil being used simply as a plus - a gastronomic luxury. This food item should be recognized everywhere for its true gastronomic value. A travel companion in the kitchen and at the table, thanks to which we can obtain a perfect blend of flavours on thousands of dishes.

It is a "natural vegetable juice". Fundamental ingredient, essential product and fruit. It is the prince, the pride of the Mediterranean Diet.